Dec. 4, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team suffered its first setback of the season Saturday in Laramie, and dropped a dual match against Nebraska, 20-12.
Four Cowboys won their matches to keep the score close, but Nebraska kept Wyoming at bay to avenge their loss last season in Lincoln. A crowd of 933 packed the UniWyo Sports Complex to see the event.
"When you have a bunch of young kids in the lineup, you don't know how they're going to react in a big atmosphere, and that was an awesome atmosphere to have," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "We didn't rise to the occasion. It's frustrating that we didn't, for whatever reason, come out and we weren't gamers. We didn't act like we were wrestling in front of our home crowd."
The 'Huskers began the dual with a win from Andy Johnson at the 197-pound level. Johnson took down Wyoming's L.J. Helbig with a 10-4 decision to open the team scoring. Nebraska kept it up in the heavyweight match as well, as No. 8 Tucker Lane won a major decision over Wyoming's Joe O'Farrell, 11-3.
But Wyoming's Tyler Cox put the 'Pokes on the scoreboard, winning an exciting 125-pound match over David Klingsheim, 6-5, for his seventh win of the season.
Nebraska then got a big win from Ridge Kiley, who upset No. 16 Michael Martinez in the 133-pound match with a takedown in extra time for a 3-1 decision. That victory pushed Nebraska's team lead to 10-3, and with Mike Koehnlein's 4-1 decision over Chase Smith in the 141-pound match, the 'Huskers widened the lead to 13-3.
Cole Dallaserra and Shane Onufer weren't ready to concede, however, and each got big victories to keep Wyoming in the running. Dallaserra won a 5-1 decision over Ross Grande at 149 pounds and Onufer outlasted Tyler Koehn in a 4-2 decision in the 157-pound match to make the score Nebraska 13, Wyoming 9.
No. 2-ranked Tyler Burroughs then defeated Wyoming's Patrick Martinez 19-7 in a major decision at the 165-pound level, and Caleb Kolb won a 7-1 decision over Wyoming's Dallas Hintz in the 174-pound match to seal the team win.
But Wyoming's Joe LeBlanc provided the home fans with some fireworks, taking a 5-3 decision over No. 10 Josh Ihnen in extra time in the 184-pound match. LeBlanc, ranked No. 2, fell behind 0-2 early but used two escapes to even up the score at 2 in the second period. Ihnen then earned an escape point at the 5:27 mark but incurred a stalling warning with only six seconds to go in the match to give LeBlanc a point and force extra time. LeBlanc took just 29 seconds to get a takedown for the sudden-death win in his first official match of the season.
"If we don't pull that match out, I don't know ... that would've put a cap on a horrible night," Branch said. "That kid's tough, no doubt about it. We knew he was tough. He's wrestled Joe twice ... They've all been tough matches. (LeBlanc) fought back hard. He's only been wrestling for two weeks ... Obviously, I'm glad he got the job done."
Wyoming's next dual will be versus Oregon State in Casper, Wyo., on Dec. 16.